OrderPaperToday – The Federal Government on Tuesday said it will consider the University Transparency Account System (UTAS), an alternative emolument payment platform developed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
This move followed the continued rejection of Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS), a centralised payment platform by the Federal Government for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, by the leacturers’ union.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his budget speech last week, insisted that federal workers not captured in IPPIS will not be paid their salaries.
As a result of the dispute, public universities have been shut down since February this year.
This new development was made after a two and half hours closed door meeting which involved the Principal officers of the Senate, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige and the leadership of ASUU.
Recall that ASUU and the leadership of the red chamber met on Monday over the same issue but resolved to have another meeting.
After the executive session, Ngige informed journalists that government will subject UTAS to an integrity test.
He said: “We agreed at the meeting to give required consideration to the UTAS alternative they came up with as a way of finding lasting solution to the lingering crisis over Implementation of IPPIS.
“We have neither jettisoned the implementation of the IPPIS nor fully accepted UTAS. The level we moved to now, is to subject ASUU’s UTAS to integrity test and in doing so, it will be presented to users like the office of Accountant General of the Federation on Wednesday.
“After that it will be sent to National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and from there to the office of the National Security Adviser for second look. The platform is an option grown device that requires stage by stage consideration and from the looks of things is good.”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and Tetfund, Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita, affirmed the progress made between the Federal Government and the union.
“The meeting brokered by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan among the various stakeholders, achieved a lot today with agreement on the need to subject the UTAS alternative brought forward by ASUU for integrity test by all relevant departments of the government”, he said .
Although ASUU leadership declined comments, they appeared happy with the consideration.